Bilateral trade between India and France below potential: Ram Nath Kovind

Bilateral trade between India and France below potential: Ram Nath Kovind

Bilateral trade between India and France below potential: Ram Nath Kovind

Reaffirming their commitment to further Indo-French ties, the two leaders made a decision to take it to a new level by agreeing to hold biennial summits between the Prime Minister of India and the President of France, a joint statement issued after Modi-Macron talks said.

Macron arrived here on Friday on a four-day visit to India during the course of which he and Modi will co-chair the founding conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) which was launched by the Indian Prime Minister and then French President Francois launched during the Paris climate summit in 2015.

Macron landed in New Delhi on Friday night and was given a ceremonial welcome on Saturday morning. "We want to be India's best partner in Europe", Macron said. He also invited the researchers to visit France. During the delegation-level talks, both leaders were expected to review the progress so far in India-France bilateral relations and exchange their views on regional and global issues of mutual interest for both nations.

India and France will also intensify their cooperation in several other areas, including counter-terrorism, space and in the IOR.

"The agreement is symbolic of the strategic depth and maturity reached in India-France defence ties", the joint statement said.

On the larger perspective, while the agreement provides New Delhi a higher level of confidence in terms of dealing with the bigger and powerful nations like the USA and France, it also provides India a better ability to operate on the high seas.

The two sides inked the pact amid Chinas growing assertiveness in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific region.

To help ensure freedom of navigation, the space agencies of the two countries signed an accord to help them detect, identify and monitor sea vessels.

Commenting on the defence cooperation between the two countries, the Prime Minister said, "Today the agreement of reciprocal logistics support between our armies is considered a golden step in the history of our close defense cooperation".

A joint statement issued following that talks said that both leaders welcomed the signing of the agreement regarding the exchange and reciprocal protection of classified or protected information, "reflecting the high level of strategic trust between the two countries". The values of liberty, equality and fraternity echo not just in France but have been embedded in India's Constitution as well.

At the Rashtrapati Bhawan, President Macron met with his counterpart, President Ram Nath Kovind, his wife Savita Kovind, and Prime Minister Modi. Ahead of that visit, which he began in Xi'an, the original starting point of China's silk route, President Macron had told a Chinese website that he was convinced that the BRI could play a "major role in structuring the Eurasian region" and France was ready to play a "leading role" in it, words that could cause a furrow in the otherwise smooth ties between the two countries. The primary objective of the alliance is to work for efficient exploitation of solar energy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

Both India and France stressed the positive contribution of the "One Plant Summit" in Paris on December 12 a year ago to this objective.

Related news